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Aug 29 is National Sports Day. Did you know?

Jaspreet Sahni | http://jaspreet_sahni

First published: August 29, 2012, 10:52 PM IST | Updated: August 29, 2012
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Aug 29 is National Sports Day. Did you know?
The government purposely gives awards on the Sports Day every year - but still nobody's aware. Whose fault is it?

Today is, or was, Sports Day in India. August 29, the birthday of hockey legend Major Dhyanchand, is celebrated as the National Sports Day. Great that we recognise the efforts of India and world's greatest ever hockey player, but what proportion of India remembers that we even have a Sports Day to celebrate? The percentage may not even touch double digits.

It's no surprise that we strive for medals whenever it comes to the Olympics, with our best haul being a mere six - the number we touched at the recently concluded London Games. No wonder we jumped in joy, even when gold continued to elude us.

Ask a 10-year-old and even he will tell you when is the Valentine's Day. But come August 29 every year, and the answer to 'what day is it today' will be Sunday, Monday, Tuesday...but Sports Day. Is that the sports culture we boast of?

Today, the government of India conducted the function to award the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and other sports awards. The government purposely organises this function on the Sports Day every year - but still nobody's aware. Whose fault is it?

Sports is not just training, it's a culture that needs to be promoted. And there's no better place to do it than at our schools that build India's future.

The campuses remain abuzz with celebrations of some seriously pointless days, but not Sports Day. So it becomes a duty of the government to make Sports Day celebrations in educational institutions compulsory.

Our hockey - whose status as our National Game is in serious jeopardy - finished last at the London Olympics. Factions are fighting to wrest power than be worried about the game's declining status, possibly not even aware that at least 50 per cent of the schools not even have a proper playground.

In such a scenario, where are we headed as a sports nation?

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